Marital Rape

Topics: Rape, Marriage, Spousal rape Pages: 7 (1997 words) Published: March 8, 2011
Shayna Epps
February 22, 2010
Dr. Mitchell Mackinem

The topic the researcher has chosen to perform research on is marital rape. The researchers question is “is the perception of marital rape different based on gender?” There are many notable cases and reports on this act, yet there seems to be an uncertainty about whether this should be considered rape or not. It is believed by sociologist that the physiological trauma that can be caused upon these women can not be anywhere near as devastating compared to a woman who has been raped by a stranger because the women violated by marital rape have already been sexually active with the violator. The researcher finds this perception to be mistaken because women who have been sullied by a stranger usually only have one encounter with that person, while marital rape usually occurs a numerous amount of times. The study will make more of an awareness of this crime, and hopefully spark an interest in the mind of others of this topic so they too will do research. The researcher imagines that females will be more sensitive towards this situation than males. Alternatively, with males she believes there is a thin line between what is considered rough sex and rape. Many men may have the mentality that a woman is to be submissive to her husband in any circumstance. It has been said that it is impossible for a woman to be raped by her husband because when you get married you are automatically signing over consent. Many women are ashamed or embarrassed to come forward and report such instances because they feel ashamed and that no one will believe them. A marriage license does not necessitate someone to submit to sexual contact on command. The independent variable is gender, because it stays the same. The dependent variable is the judgment of rape, because it varies from person to person.

Literature Review
In the late 1970s, female activist began efforts to change laws that did not consider marital rape as being unlawful. Currently in all 50 states and the District of Columbia spousal rape is considered a crime. When it was definite that spousal rape would be unlawful, states used one of three techniques for criminalizing it. Most states just plainly removed the marital rape exemption. Some states completely replaced the exemption text with new language expressing that marriage to a victim is not a defense. However, others created a separate offense of spousal rape all together. All states do considers spousal rape as a crime, yet there are still issues that surface. Spousal rape is treated completely different from stranger rape (Nancy Lemon, Nancy Hoffman, Marty McIntyre and Deanna Ferraino, 1999/2000). The traditional legal term for rape is “forced intercourse without the consent of the woman other than one’s wife”. That ending phrase that the researcher italicized is known as spousal exemption. That term was used in the past, but centuries later, there still is not much justice served with issues dealing with marital rape. Marital rape was legal up until 1980s; most states eliminated or at least restricted it. For example, in some jurisdictions a woman must have a court order active against him in order to file rape charges (David and Kersti Yillo, PH.D, 1985). This information will be helpful towards the studies because it discusses some different types of rape like battering rape, which is when a woman receives physical beatings prior to sex. Obsessive rape, which is considered the cruelest is when the man is hypersexual, and prefers to be forceful. Force-only rape is the term used to describe relationships that the husband uses just enough strength to coerce his wife into sex. There is also a focus on the victim’s health, not jus physical, but mental. Marital rape is so much of a widespread and most common form of rape in the United States. Marital rape victims often experience other forms of trauma like...

Bibliography: Source/Published by: Department of Sociology, Wheaton College
Norton, Massachusetts, 02766
Source/Published by HighBeam Research, Criminalizing marital rape: a comparison of judicial and legislative, Newspaper article from: Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY) May 23, 2007
Stable URL:
Source/Published by: Stanford Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 3 (Feb., 1996), pp. 677-709
: Stanford Law Review
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